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  • Measure strategy using kpi. By Chris Fox

Measure strategy using kpi. By Chris Fox


Strategy measures and kpi help organizations implement strategies.

Studies suggest that as few as 1 in 10 strategies are ever successfully executed. In my experience, strategies with clearly defined and measurable objectives and kpi (Key Performance Indicators) are more likely to get delivered than those without.

Why strategy measures and kpi matter.


Humans have an affinity for keeping score. We fill our leisure time with games and activities, competing against each other or against ourselves. We set up leagues and tournaments. We set and break records. And all of this requires measurement and score keeping. Measurement and score keeping are fundamentally motivational.

A clear kpi helps people to pull together as a team working towards a common goal.

Measurement insists on clarity. Rugby only works because everyone knows exactly how many points you get for a try versus a conversion, and because everyone agrees exactly when a try is and isn't a try (even if it can sometimes be difficult to see it). This clarity enables people to align and pull together as a team towards a common goal.

A vague kpi results in different teams pulling in different directions - based on how they each interpret your kpi.

High level strategies which remain too vague are open to different interpretations. Even a simple goal like increasing market share can be open to different interpretations. For example, is market share measured in terms of numbers of customers, numbers of transactions, or monetary value of transactions? This matters when you find that a third of your team are taking steps to attract new customers, a third are taking steps to get additional business from existing customers, and a third are taking steps to up-sell each customer to a larger contract: three very different strategies to achieve the same high-level goal. Most importantly, instead of pulling together to achieve your strategy, your team is pulling in three different directions, fragmenting or even undermining the effort and its impact.

Establishing measurements as part of your strategy is important, but by no means easy. Here are my eight top recommendations for strategy measurements, or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

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